It’s almost that time again: the year is coming to a close, and our thoughts are turning to the new year and what it has in store for us. This is a time to reflect on how the next year can be even better that the last, and setting those notoriously elusive goals called resolutions. They can be hard to follow through on, but if taken seriously, can also keep us inspired and motivated to do better.
For those who work from home or remotely, your work life has a different set of challenges and needs than those who work in the office. Perhaps you’ve thought that you can be more productive, more engaged, more social with coworkers, and generally improve your telecommuting experience. If that’s an area you want to focus on in the new year, here are five resolutions for you to make for 2016.
With the fresh start that the new year brings, it’s a great time to take a good look at your workspace and projects and evaluate them. Are they as organized as they could be? Do you have your priorities straight? Develop a strategy for getting your projects and tasks done in the right order, the right way. Keep your schedule, files, contacts, and other resources you need to get your work done uncluttered, orderly, and accessible. You don’t have to make everything perfect, but get a system down and stick with it to start the new year off right.
No matter if you’re in a corporate cube farm or have a private closed-door office, distractions are everywhere, threatening to derail progress and push back deadlines. You could even say the modern-day workplace is addicted to distraction – and in an unpoliced work-at-home environment, it can be even worse. Setting a resolution to not let distractions get the best of you will get your mind in the right place for a productive year. You’ll first have to identify what your particular vices are, and then come up with a game plan to manage them.
Interact with Coworkers
Telecommuting can be a lonely life, with fewer opportunities to get to know the people you work with. In the spirit of building a work community and improving your work experience, don’t let yourself miss out on opportunities to chat and commiserate socially with your colleagues. Seek out or even create ways that you can participate in team activities, and reach out to colleagues via virtual communication platforms just to talk.
Get Out and Network
Another regular professional activity that telecommuters don’t get as much of is networking. Working at home makes you somewhat of an island, and one in which work and home life are somewhat more blurred. It can be easy to get caught up in keeping up with both of them, losing touch with colleagues and missing opportunities to meet new people professionally. Don’t let yourself become isolated – put the effort into continuously building relationships that strengthen your career prospects. It’s an important part of professional development, and can be rewarding on a personal level as well, making you feel less alone as a telecommuter.